DUI Charges / Vehicle Code 23152 (a)2017-06-09T23:41:34+00:00

DUI Defense Attorney in Los Angeles

Arrested for DUI?  Moaddel Law Firm can fight for you!

According to Vehicle Code § 23152(a):

“(a) It is unlawful for a person who is under the influence of any alcoholic beverage to drive a vehicle.”

Unlike VC § 23152 (b), the “per se” DUI, this is a “subjective” standard of DUI where the arresting officer determines whether you are “under the influence” of alcohol based on his observations. Under § 23152(a), a person can be convicted of DUI even if their blood alcohol content (BAC) is lower than 0.08%. (However, most people who have a BAC of 0.08% or higher are charged with both § 23152(a) and (b)).

Moaddel Law Firm has been fighting DUI charges and other criminal accusations for years.  We fight so hard on behalf of our clients because we know just how devastating a criminal conviction can be.  Thanks to our tenacity and deep understanding of the law, you can trust us to handle your case the best way possible.

Understanding CA Vehicle Code § 23152(a)

If you are charged under this section, the government will have to prove two elements: you drove a motor vehicle and you were under the influence of alcohol when you drove.

Generally, the first element is easily satisfied because an officer pulls someone over after watching them drive or inspects them at a DUI checkpoint. However, while the law requires the vehicle move, officers do not have to see the movement, and can infer movement from circumstantial evidence.[1]

“Under the influence” means that your physical or mental abilities are impaired so that you can no longer drive as well as a normally cautious sober person.[2]

Because this section does not require a specific BAC, the prosecutor will rely on the arresting officer’s observations to prove that you were under the influence. The officer will testify about how you were driving, how you appeared, whether you smelled of alcohol, your performance on field sobriety tests, and anything you said and how you said it.

Moaddel Law Firm: Challenging DUI Charges

The aggressive Los Angeles DUI defense attorneys at Moaddel Law Firm, knows how to combat this testimony. For instance, your attorney can provide alternative explanations for the officer’s observations, such as extreme fatigue, nervousness, or medical explanations. Your attorney may also argue that you had a drink, but not enough to be “under the influence.” Your attorney may also argue your driving is explained by non-alcohol factors, such as being lost, being fatigued, or being nervous.

If you complete roadside field sobriety tests, the officer will almost always determine that your performance was “poor.” Your attorney can question the officer to show that your performance was in fact not poor, the test administered was not valid, or the test was administered improperly. Your attorney may also show an alternative basis for your poor performance, such as poor balance.

An attorney can also challenge the case against you on legal procedure, including challenging whether the police had probable cause to arrest you or reasonable suspicion to stop you, or whether the police engaged in any misconduct.

What penalties am I facing with a DUI conviction?

Generally, first time DUIs are misdemeanors, as are second and third offenses.[3] A fourth DUI within a ten year period will likely be charged as a felony. DUIs with injuries or property damage may also be filed as felonies. Misdemeanor DUI usually includes three to five years of probation, up to one year in county jail (usually for second or third offenses), a fine plus court assessment fees, court-approved DUI school, driver’s license suspension of at least six months[4] (unless you win your DMV hearing).[5] You may also face an increased car insurance payment.

Felony DUI penalties include formal probation, up to three years in state prison, a four year driver’s license revocation, and designation as a habitual traffic offender by the DMV.

You may face increased penalties if you are also speeding,[6] have a child in the car,[7] or have a BAC over 0.15%.

However, your criminal defense attorney in Los Angeles can negotiate with the prosecutor for a plea bargain to a reduced charge, such as a “wet reckless,”[8] “dry reckless,”[9] or drinking alcohol in a vehicle.[10]

Call the Moaddel Law Firm right away to get started on your defense: (877) 375-8188!

[1] People v. Wilson (1985) 176 Cal,App.3d Supp. 1, 8.

[2] California Jury Instructions, Criminal 16.831.

[3] Vehicle Code §§ 23536-23548.

[4] Vehicle Code § 13350 et seq.

[5] DMV hearings are not automatic and must be requested within ten days of your arrest. Please see our DMV hearing article <LINK>

[6] Vehicle Code § 23582.

[7] Vehicle Code § 23572, which could also be filed as child endangerment under Penal Code § 273(a).

[8] Vehicle Code § 23103.5

[9] Vehicle Code § 23103.

[10] Vehicle Code § 23221.